A Massachusetts bishop has known as the notions of a New Testament scholar in his diocese “highly offensive and blasphemous,” and has known as on his Jesuit school to ask him to publicly disavow his writings on the sexuality of Jesus.
Professor Tat-siong Benny Liew, the chair of New Testament Studies on the College of the Holy Cross, has revealed articles claiming Jesus was a “drag king” and mentioned the connection between the Father and Son was gay and masochistic in nature.
In one article, Liew mentioned the centurion who approaches Jesus to heal his servant was really talking about his lover and described the connection as “pederastic.” Liew mentioned the biblical writer affirmed the connection, including this “may also be consistent with Matthew’s affirmation of many sexual dissidents in her Gospel.”
Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worchester mentioned he was “deeply troubled and concerned” that somebody who authored such issues holds an endowed chair on the Catholic establishment.
After the professor’s controversial writings – revealed a decade in the past – had been highlighted in a March 26 article in The Fenwick Review, an unbiased opinion journal based mostly on the College of the Holy Cross, an internet petition calling for Liew’s ouster gained over 10,000 signatures.
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A press release from faculty spokesman John Hill mentioned the “decade-old work” was not supposed for undergraduates and has not been assigned within the classroom.
“It was an intentionally provocative work, not a statement of belief, meant to foster discussion among a small group of Biblical scholars exploring marginalization. No one has made a complaint about the content of Professor Liew’s classes in his four years at Holy Cross,” he mentioned.
Jesuit Father Philip Boroughs, president of the College of the Holy Cross, mentioned Liew is a devoted trainer, engaged scholar, and a person of religion.
“Academic freedom is one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts education. Scholars in all disciplines are free to inquire, critique, comment, and push boundaries on widely accepted thought,” Boroughs mentioned in a press release, including that he personally does “strongly disagree with the interpretation of John’s Gospel, as described in The Fenwick Review, and I discover it particularly offensive on this most sacred of all weeks within the liturgical calendar.”
McManus responded by saying educational freedom, significantly within the fields of theology or non secular research, can’t be used to “provide cover for blatantly unorthodox teaching.”
The bishop’s remarks had been made in a press release revealed March 30 on the web site of The Catholic Free Press, the diocesan newspaper.
“Clearly the biblical conclusions that Professor Liew has reached in his writings are both false and perverse,” McManus mentioned. “I am particularly concerned that Professor Liew’s book that contains these unorthodox views is featured on display in the Religious Studies Department at Holy Cross.”
The bishop mentioned the College of the Holy Cross has an obligation to ask Liew if he rejects the biblical positions he wrote on the time, or if he helps and defends these positions at the moment.
“If he disavows them, then he must state so publicly, so as not to create confusion about the nature of Christ,” McManus continued. “If he does not, then it is my duty as the Bishop of Worcester to clearly state that such teaching is a danger to the integrity of the Catholic faith and, in prudence, warn the Catholic faithful committed to my pastoral care that such unorthodox teaching has no place in a Catholic College whose mission is to promote and cultivate the Catholic intellectual tradition.”
The bishop mentioned it’s “particularly disheartening” for him to be addressing the difficulty throughout Holy Week, which he mentioned could be “meaningless if we did not recognize the suffering that Jesus Christ as the God-man bore for us and that our relationship to him as Savior is the most important dimension of our Christian lives.”